Times When Boy Meets World Got Serious
Yes, Boy Meets World was funny, quirky, and often self-referential. But at its core, it was a serious show about growing up. It certainly didn't fail to deliver lessons that a good family sitcom should deliver. And it did it without speaking down to their audience, and with just the right amount of levity to make it entertaining instead of preachy
- •Teachers BetCory and Mr. Feeny switch roles in order to teach a point to Cory, who believes that Mr. Feeny doesn't do any work since he's the teacher. The class is reading the diary of Anne Frank for the first time. At the same time, Eric's girlfriend, Linda, gets made fun for her Japanese ethnicity. Cory, shocked that people would treat someone that way, read and understood the book. To get the others to understand it, he resorts to some risky texting methods that seem to work. And he learned a lesson, too
- •Wake Up, Little CoryMr. Turner, the cool young teacher, has his students do a video report about sex. When Cory and Topanga spend the night in the school, falling asleep together after editing late into the night, they're caught by Mr. Feeny. Rumors start and Cory doesn't stop them. In the end, Cory learns that protecting the friend is more important than looking cool in front of people who aren't your friends. And he learns that your reputation is everything.
- •Dangerous SecretCory goes to visit Shawn at the trailer park, when Shawn is sick. But, he sees that Sean has a young lady sleeping over and his parents are not home. Cory jumps to conclusions and assumes is that Shawn has taken the next step. But, the young girl isn't sleeping with Shawn. She is hiding from her dad who is physically abusing her. Cory hides her in his house for a while, but eventually has to turn her in. For her own safety, the right thing to do is tell on her father. She gets the help she needs
- •Turkey DayThis episode tackled class differences. Cory was upper-middle-class, while Shawn didn't have much and lived in a trailer. But Shawn invited cory's family over for Thanksgiving, and Cory accepted. The adults, however, did not think it was a good idea. They felt that these groups shouldn't mix. Much like the Hutus and it Tutsi's in Africa, this kind of class warfare almost ruined everything. But the children had their own thanksgiving and helped everyone see the error of their ways.
- •Easy StreetThe gang got jobs during Christmas break. Sean was working on the docks early in the morning while Cory got a cushy job at a restaurant run by the mafia. Once he finds this out, he quits the lucrative job and Shawn takes over. The turning point of the episode is when they ask him to deliver a package on Christmas Eve, making him miss his annual celebration with the Matthews. Cory helps him realize that those men don't care if he lives or dies. All Shawn wanted was to give back to his friends.
- •Long Walk To PittsburghThis one hit home for me because I was in a long distance relationship a little after high school. The feelings that topanga and Cory feel for each other are amazing. They manage to turn around Corys mom, who is oddly against it. Honestly, I think she dislikes topanga. She won't admit it. But seriously, let the kids be in love! This also features one of the best Feeny moments in the backyard
- •If You Can't Be With The One You LoveThis one attacked teenage drinking in a semi-unrealistic way. I mean, Cory drinking because he lost topanga makes sense. And Shawn drinking with him to keep up makes sense but Shawn becoming an alcoholic, getting help, and getting better in a few weeks time made it seem too easy. Either way, strong episode. I always love seeing Cory's dad really show his feelings. Especially about Shawn. He's like a second son, and mr Matthews is the only father he really has
- •Prom-ises, Prom-isesIt was a real question of how they would tackle sex in this one. It was never mentioned by name, but implied many ways. But more importantly, the consequences were mentioned. It was explained that one night could change your life forever. Now, Cory and tapanga decided not to have sex, which would be a reoccurring theme throughout the rest of the series. Whether or not it is realistic, it is a family show and I think it teaches good values for the age group it aims at.
- •Everybody Loves StuartThis one tackled sexual harassment from a person in power. Stuart, played by the one and only Fred Savage (a.k.a. Ben savages brother), was a teacher who took it upon himself to find Topanga's dorm room, sit on her bed, and force himself on to her. Luckily, Cory came in and diffuse the situation. But when he confronted Stuart, He used his position of power to say that no one would believe a kid over a professor. Justice prevailed of course, thanks to a hearing by Dean Bolander.
- •Can I Help To Cheer You?The side story of this one is that Cory is offered $1 million to marry a rich man's daughter. But the more serious part of the show is that Eric wants to adopt Billy, the young man that he sees every week as part of the big brother program. Eventually, Eric realizes that there's a better home for Billy, and it wouldn't be fair for Billy to be adopted by a college kid. But Billy's reaction when Eric tells him it's heartbreaking. He told Eric that he doesn't love him anymore.
- •The Honeymoon Is Over/ Picket FencesThis one showed the reality of the decision to marry young. Cory's dad wouldn't help him when he needed somewhere to live, when he needed help buying a house, or anything. It showed how hard it is to get started when you're young. But it also showed how much Alan loved him. He knew cory would figure thing out and grow! When I was married, I tried to not ask my dad for too much, as well. But now that I'm separated, I needed to lean on my family. It's good to have them there for you.
- •Family TreesI could probably make two lists-worth of items about Shawn's messed up life. But this one is one of the toughest. He finds out his birth mother didn't want him. Nobody wanted him. He went back to the bottle. For a minute. Alan offered to adopt him. He flipped out. And in the the end, he apologized and decided to join forces with his brother. 👍
- •Brotherly ShoveOne of the few episodes where Eric was super serious. He hated that he went from being the person Cory always wanted hang out with to the person excluded from the Cory/Shawn/Topanga triumvirate. It took a fight at a garage sale and a trip to the ER to bring them together. By the way, as goofy as Eric was, he may have been the most emotionally deep and good person on the show
- •Brave New WorldAngela leaves Shawn, just like everyone else does. Topanga gets a job in New York City. And the gang has to say goodbye and move on. See my list about series finales to understand the depth of the last scene. Remember: Dream. Try. Do Good.
- •Honorable mentionsLet's not forget that Shawn joined a cult. And Mr. Turner got in a bad motorcycle accident that Shawn had to get through. And Cory pushed his dad. Such a great show.